Best AFL Terms & Definitions Guide
Aussie Rules Football is a unique game with some strange-sounding rules and terminology. That’s why AFL terms might seem a little daunting to newcomers. After all, there’s a lot of slang involved while the game is in play. That’s why we’ve created this guide for new footy fans who want to start betting on the game.
Knowing when and how to bet is an important factor, so getting the definitions right can help most fans get going. Included in our list are typical plays, some weird rules and even a few betting terms specific to the sport.
Before we begin, we will admit that we dropped a couple of terms. Mostly those that don’t affect the gambling side of things because they mean the same as other official terms. We also admit that this is not a completely full list, because the jargon of AFL is constantly developing. Should any new terms be introduced, we’ll update the guide eventually.
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Top-Rated AFL Definitions Links
- Full list of Official AFL Terms
- A-D Terms
- E-G AFL Definitions
- Footy Terms H-K
- Football Glossary L-P
- AFL Terms Q-U
- All AFL Awards
- More about Aussie Footy
Full list of Official AFL Terms
A-D AFL Terms
- Advantage paid – an umpire decision where the game continues after an infringement.
- Baulk – tricking an opponent as the ball carrier by sidestepping or faking disposal.
- Behind – a minor score, as judged by the goal umpire worth one point.
- Behind assist – producing a behind assist by passing to a teammate through disposal, ground kick, knock-on, hit out, or by free-kicks before advantage is paid to the goal scorer.
- Block – shepherding an opponent out of the goal line to benefit a teammate.
- Broken Tackle – evading a tackle and legally disposing of the ball.
- Chain of Play – when players pass the ball until a goal is scored.
- Clanger Handball – handball that gives position to the opposing team.
- Clanger kick – kicks that give possession to opponents.
- Clearance – credited to the player that has the first ‘effective’ disposal in a chain that clears the stoppage area. Also applicable to ineffective kicks or clanger kicks clearing the stoppage area.
- Contested Mark – when a player takes a mark while under physical pressure from a pack or opponent.
- Contested Possession – when the ball is disputed in looseball-gets, hardball-gets, frees, etc.
- Crumb – a ground-level mark from a player not in the original contest, these can be hardball or looseball-gets.
- Disposal – getting rid of the ball via kick or handball.
E-G AFL Definitions
- Effective Handball – a handball pass that hits the target.
- Effective Kick – a kick over 40 metres to a 50/50 contest or better for the team or a kick less than 40 metres that ends with retaining custody.
- First Possession – initial control following stoppage.
- Free Against – a type of free kick awarded after infringements.
- Free For– after infringement, a player can kick without being tackled.
- Gather – uncontested possessions that result from a teammate intentionally directing the ball to another player on their team.
- Gather from Hit-Out – contested possession from a teammate’s hit-out.
- Goal – major score judged by the umpire worth six points.
- Goal Assist – created goal to a teammate from disposal, knock-on ground-kick, or hit-out.
- Ground Kick – deliberately kicking without taking control of a significant distance from the point of contact.
- Groundball Get – contested possessions won from ground-level, excludes free kicks.
H-K AFL Terms
- Handball – disposing the ball with hands.
- Hardball Get – disputed ball at ground level under physical pressure or out-of-ruck contest.
- Hit-Out – knocking the ball out-of-ruck contest following stoppage with clear control.
- Hold – holding the ball when an umpire calls for ‘ball up’.
- Inside 50 – moving the ball between midfield into the forward zone, excluding multiple entries from the same chain of possession.
- Inside 50 Target – awarded when a player is clearly the sole target of a kick towards 50.
- Kick Inside 50 – when a player records an inside 50 by kicking the ball from midfield.
- Kick Long Advantage – when a player kicks and wins uncontested possession for a teammate.
- Kick-In – when the ball is kicked in from behind an opposition player.
- Knock On – when players use their hands to knock the ball to a teammate for advantage rather than take possession in the chain of play.
Football Glossary L-P
- Long Kick – a ball kicked more than 40 metres to 50/50 contest.
- Looseball Get – a ground-level dispute not under physical pressure leading to a legal clearance.
- Mark – when one player controls the ball kicked over 15 metres for sufficient time without interference.
- On Lead – uncontested mark taken after out-running an opponent.
- Play On – playing immediately without retreating behind a mark.
- Missed Tackles – unsuccessful tackles.
- One On One Contest Defender – isolated contest as a defender.
- One On One Contest Target – secluded contest as the targeted kick.
- Premier – reigning premiership winner.
AFL Terms Q-U
- Rebound 50 – moving the ball from the defence zone to midfield.
- Receive Handball – uncontested control of the ball because of a teammate’s handball.
- Ruck – umpire throw after a goal scored or at the start of the game.
- Ruck Hardball Get – taking possession of the ball after a ruck.
- Running Bounce – touching the ball to the ground to stop a penalty from running too far.
- Score Assist – getting a score by passing to a teammate.
- Short Kick – a kick that lands less than 40 metres to an intended target for control.
- Smother – suppressing opposition disposal by blocking or changing direction.
- Spoil – knocking the ball away from a marking.
- Spoil Gaining Possession – gaining possession through spoiled disposal to a teammate.
- Ineffective Spoil – giving control to opposition from a spoil.
- Tackle – using physical contact to stop effective possession or disposal.
- Uncontested Gather – winning control of the ball at ground level.
- Mark (Uncontested) – marks made without physical pressure.
- Uncontested Possession – any control gained without interference.
All AFL Awards
- Brownlow Medal – awarded to the best and fairest player of the season.
- Coleman Medal – given to the player who kicks the most goals.
- Jock McHale Medal – presented to the best coach of the year.
- McClelland Trophy – awarded to the team at the top of the ladder during the Minor Premiership.
- Morrish Medal – under 18s medal for the best player.
- Norm Smith Medal – judged independently and awarded to the best player on the ground.
- Wooden Spoon – an ironic award for the team that finishes last on the ladder.